We Are All Keeping Secrets

I told Russell today that I felt like I was keeping a secret from my long distance best friend. She’s coming home to stay and live here soon, so this reality of being found out is a hard one to swallow.

It’s not either of our faults. I had a baby, she was making a cross country move. We were both overwhelmed. Because my schedule and routine disappeared once my baby arrived, we weren’t able to have our daily phone calls. The silence and the experiences we are going through alone have felt like the biggest hurdle we’ve ever faced.

I’ve tried my best to be a good communicator despite how much my life has changed. But I can’t help but feel so much fear with having to be honest.

I didn’t tell her how much I’ve been struggling. How I have been crushed by the depression, anxiety and isolation of my life. How many times I’ve lost a grip on what is true. How much I am still in the midst of it.

It’s not actually a secret, but it feels like one. It feels like one I have kept from everyone. How do you honestly and accurately talk about your struggles when you don’t have the luxury of face to face? How do you open your heart to someone who doesn’t know what you’re going through over a text? Even if it is someone in your similar situation, how do you actually ask for help?

I have wrestled with this idea for months now. And the more I think about it, the more I know others must be feeling the same way. This COVID world has put us all in isolated places. Where our experiences are so hard and unique and we don’t have our normal networks of support to lean into. We are all keeping our own secrets.

I know and believe that our God isn’t one of secrets. Mystery, yes, but he has saved us from the prison of secrecy. We don’t have to live in shame and fear of what we are, or have done or have felt. We are free from that.

How do we then live in this reality? How do we do it now? Without being able to hear the tone of someone’s voice accurately, to see their body language, to feel the intention in their words? This is something I want to find. There are so many of us really struggling with the day to day and not being able to have an outlet in any way.

There is a fine line between vulnerability and overexposure. And I don’t think there’s a clear formula to follow with that, but we all know it when we see it. Either side takes kindness. Elevate those who are honest in their interactions. Have grace for those who don’t have the purest of intentions.

If you are struggling, please reach out. I’m not perfect or an expert in anything. But I want to be a part of the solution. If you are not someone struggling, take the time to ask those you don’t see how they are doing. Give space for their honesty if you can take it. And I think above all, let’s all talk to God first. He is our ally and advocate. He cares, he knows, he sees.

Let’s all give space for honesty and vulnerability. Let’s be wise in stepping into those spaces when we see the opening.

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